By Vidya Narayanan, Sr. Technical Program Manager – DocuSign at DocuSign

This is the third article in our DocuSign@DocuSign series, which explores the ways we use our own products and features to run the DocuSign business. It’s not just so that we can take advantage of the benefits of eSignatures, CLM and more; but it’s to get insights into our customers’ experiences and keep improving our products. Here, we share our learnings.

If you’re sick of bottlenecks or blockages holding up progress on your agreements, then you need to put the power of signing groups to work. At DocuSign, we use signing groups all the time – it’s a great way to boost collaboration and eliminate backlogs, while remaining secure and in control of your agreements.

How a signing group works

Let’s look at an example. In HR, an offer letter is being prepared for a candidate. The HR manager, recruiter and onboarding manager are working together to win this candidate over.

As a team, they set up a signing group for the process of making an offer to a candidate, which means that any of them can respond if the candidate comes back with a signed document. So, if the HR manager is off sick or on leave, the onboarding manager can pick things up and keep the ball rolling. There’s no need to wait for the HR manager to return to work.

Signing groups work just as well in other departments, too. Consider the legal team. If any of your in-house legal eagles can sign off on a contract for you, why not set up a signing group for those leasing contracts that need a signature before you can finalise negotiations with a vendor?

Setting up signing groups

When you’re setting one up, think about its purpose before you add people in. Who has the authority to sign off on the types of agreements you’ve got in mind? Would employees from different teams benefit from being on a single signing group? For what purpose?

Once you’re clear on how it’s going to work, then your signing group must be set up by your DocuSign Admin – they’ve got the power to add, edit or delete groups. The person sending an envelope can only include signing groups on the envelope if they have been set up within their DocuSign Account.

You can set up an email alias for the signing group. If you do, then all communications are sent to that email address and not to the individual group members. Group members can access the envelope from their DocuSign account or, if they have access to the alternate email, they can use the link in the email notification.

You stay in control

Using the HR example above, say the onboarding manager moves to a different area of the business and is no longer involved in the recruitment process. You can easily remove him/her from the signing group so he/she’s no longer notified about updates to the candidate’s progress.

There are other settings that help you retain control in a signing group:

  • Only one member can access the signing experience at a time – and, if they sign out before completing their bits, they can click ‘Finish Later’ to save what they’ve done. Everyone will see their progress (note: signatures and initials are not preserved).
  • All members will receive notification when the envelope has been completed – so everyone can tick it off their to-do lists at once.
  • It’s easy to track the history of an envelope, so you can see which group members have taken action once an invitation has been sent.

Got questions?

DocuSign signing groups are here to help make your team’s life easier and get stuff done faster. If you need any help in setting them up in your business, start a free trial and contact us.